Nine miles in length and joining the Carribean Sea and Changuinola River, the Sorropta Canal is one of my favorite places to photograph birds in Panama. I first visited the canal on an expedition lead by Dr. Peter Lahanas of the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) and later I explored it from the comfort of a two-person canoe.
Cut straight across the marshy Sorropta Peninsula in mainland Panama, the canal served water taxis from the port in Almirante on their route to the Bocas Islands. That was all before the terrible “Hundred-years Storm” that struck in the spring of 2009 when fallen trees combined with other debris tore from the forests to clog up the canal, making it impassable. Today, abandoned by most boats, it has become a thriving habitat for many resident and migratory birds.